LSAT Writing Sample Section

LSAT Writing Sample Basics

LSAC does not score the LSAT Writing Sample, but sends it directly to law schools along with test scores. In a survey conducted by LSAC, a majority of law schools in the US and Canada indicated they do use the writing sample as part of the admission process. Omitting it or not taking it seriously might lead to rejection of an application.

The prompt in the LSAT Writing Sample will always present two choices. Test takers must select one of the choices and defend it. There is no right or wrong choice to make, rather the writing sample's strength or weakness will depend on how throughly the writer supports the position selected and refutes the position that was not selected. The topics of the writing sample are usually not legal, but the process of supporting a position and refuting the alternative is considered good practice for law school and future legal writing. The Writing Sample questions/topics are designed and validated by legal education professionals.

The Writing Sample should be confined to the front and back of the Writing Sample response sheet. That is the only are that will reproduced and sent to law schools, so writing extra will be of no benefit.

Tips for a Strong LSAT Writing Sample

Because the LSAT Writing Sample requires writers to choose a side and defend it, it might actually be easier to structure this essay than it is for essays on other standardized tests.

To start, test takers should be sure to use the scratch paper to sketch out what they would like to write. Be aware of the length of the Writing Sample response form. The length is limited so observations should be thorough, but concise.

Because the essay requires writers to choose one option over the other, the writer must both support the position chosen, and refute the one that was not selected. Doing this concisely will take up most of the space allocated.

Begin with an introductory paragraph that explains in broad terms the dilemma and the position taken. Follow with a paragraph in support of the choice. Another paragraph should then refute the other option and explains why that choice was not selected. Finish with a conclusion. This will throughly use the space allocated and ensure that the decision is explained from both angles. Writers should try to think of three reasons of support for the decision chosen and three points of opposition to the decision not selected to use in the two main body paragraphs.

Writers should maintain awareness of the time limit and pace themselves accordingly. Finally, there's the part that many LSAT bloggers post as their biggest challege: keep handwriting legible.